The last two nights, we watched with bated breath and intermittent pours of cheap red wine this week's episodes of Bachelor in Paradise.
After some quick reflection—both about who I am as a person and what Bachelor in Paradise means as a franchise—I’ve come out with the latest edition of our Official Unofficial Bachelor in Paradise Leaderboard.
24. Blake (last week: not ranked)
Coming into Paradise four weeks in is like enrolling in a new high school second semester senior year, when all the cool kids who’ve had sex and stuff are already coupled up and they kind of feel bad for you, but not bad enough to, like, actually make any attempt at friendship. It’s especially bad if you already have a reputation as “that guy who fought with Whaboom,” which, even if you have no idea who “Whaboom” is, sounds pretty fucking terrible. Blake is in an exclusive circle of Bachelor hell not even Scallop Fingers has the capability to breach, and she takes scallops to-go and then eats them after they’ve been sitting in hot cars.
Fortunately, Blake’s stint on Paradise is brief. Herewith, an abbreviated list of things fellow cast members said about Blake:
-Diggy, in reference to Blake’s nervous perspiration: “Damn, he’s wet.”
-D-Lo, when asked whether she’d go on a date with Blake: “I’d probably say no.”
-Dean, upon seeing Kristina pulled aside by Blake: “She’s going to hate her life for the next ten minutes.”
-Diggy: “I think at this point you should hope blake takes your girl, ‘cause she’ll come back and appreciate you more.”
And the kicker, from Kristina, who Blake asks out on his date: “When I was in an orphanage all I wanted was to get picked...and today I don’t want to get picked for this date.”
In a stunning rhetorical takedown, Kristina equivocates the pain of not getting picked, as a child in an orphanage, to the trauma of getting picked, as an adult in Paradise, to go on a date with Blake. Somewhere, in a crowded one-bedroom Los Angeles apartment, Whaboom is smiling. And also whaboom-ing. God that guy sucked.
23. Fred (last week: not ranked)
In keeping with the “high school” metaphor introduced in the previous section, Fred entered Paradise as the bad boy with a chance to disrupt one of the more stable couples. The problem is, Fred, as he claimed repeatedly on Rachel’s season, HASN’T BEEN A BAD BOY SINCE HE WAS IN THIRD FUCKING GRADE. He actually seems like a pretty good boy, now. And he makes a valid go at Dominique, only to be clumped in in a pity double date with Blake and Scallop Fingers, who loses her contact lens whilst ziplining into a body of water. Classic Scallop Fingers.
22. Kristina (last week: 9)
Kristina is a real sucker for punishment. She should’ve left Dean a long time ago, but seemed to underestimate how stupidly men behave when they’re under the influence of lust. At least she avoided a date with Blake. That would’ve been catastrophic.
21. Ben Z. (last week: 16)
See below entry: “Ben Z.’s dog.”
20. Danielle, aka D-Lo (last week: 8)
D-Lo wins Dean, but it’s tough to imagine she’ll watch this back and think that he chose her for any other reason than to get in her pants. Then again…
19. Robbie (last week: 19) and Amanda (last week: 11) (tie)
Yeah, yeah, whatever, they’re falling for each other now. Robbie’s persistance paid off. He even seems to be sweating less. They will 100% have a televised wedding, with Harrison officiating.
18. Taylor and Derek (last week: 14) (tie)
Taylor and Derek have been called “the next Jade and Tanner,” which is the Paradise equivalent of high school basketball players being called “the next Lebron James.” Whatever.
17. Chris Harrison (last week: not ranked)
Every once in awhile, Chris Harrison reminds us while he’s still the greatest (and only) Bachelor host of all time. Case in point: he could tell the twins apart at first sight. Harrison’s still got it.
16. Emily, aka Twin A (last week: not ranked)
Emily, the more dominant twin, comes in hot and guns for Dean. She’s shocked to discover he won’t go because he’s got a thing with D-Lo, so she begrudgingly asks Tickle Monster. When the double date with her sister and Jack Stone falls through, because Jack Stone wants to stay to hang with Scallop Fingers, Emily and Hailey basically say fuck it and bounce. But not before they hurl scallops at an unknown target, and provide the viewer with a much-needed reality check, spouting such gems as: “I have to come here and date the fucking Tickle Monster.” It’s true. She does. Nobody else on the show seems to recognize how weird that is.
15. Hailey, aka Twin B (last week: not ranked)
Hailey gets the leg up because, when asked by the producer which twin has the better vagina, both Emily and Hailey point to Hailey. For the record, as a twin myself, my brother and I are routinely asked who has the bigger dick. We have never once responded to this question.
14. Jami (last week: not ranked)
Jami’s claim to fame is that she was the first openly bisexual contestant on The Bachelor. Considering The Bachelor propagates a highly traditional, rigid vision of heteronormative relationships, I’m not sure this counts as an accomplishment. She seems cool, though, I guess.
13. Jonathan, aka Tickle Monster (last week: 3)
Jasmine attacked Tickle Monster with her mouth in the pool. It looked pretty steamy. Tickle Monster is having as good a Paradise as a person known for tickling can have.
12. Raven (last week: 4) and Adam (last week: 5)
With the exception of a brief spat between Raven and Kristina, these two pretty much drank and made out on a chair all week. I guess that’s what I’d do if I was Raven and Adam. Although maybe I’d go with a bed. Or the sand.
11. Lacey (last week: 12)
Last we saw Lacey, Daniel was grabbing her butt and she was having parts of her body censored out. I’d chalk this up to a win for Lacey.
10. Daniel (last week: 1)
Consider this spoken word poem from Daniel, given during an interview, which we will entitle “Scallop Fingers.”
She’ll eat ‘em off a mat
How bout that.
Sometimes even with a cat,
Mmm. Yes. “Even with a cat.”
9. Dean (last week: 2, as Drunk Dean)
Dean is one of those dudes who in trying to always be the nice guy ends up being the asshole. In trying to be honest with Kristina, he really just ended up stringing her along, to the point where she was forced to watch him fool around with D-Lo in the pool. Dean acts like he doesn’t understand why he’s still flirting with D-Lo when he’s got this “amazing girl” right in front of him, when it’s pretty obvious to anyone with two eyeballs and a brain that he just wants to sleep with D-Lo, plain and simple. And can we blame him? Half of the show has been devoted to scallops, while the other half of the show is basically footage of unwashed attractive people making out on daybeds. This is Paradise. Let Dean be Dean.
8. Dominique (last week: 7)
I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say Dominique accepted the date with Fred just so she could fuck around on that big blob. Props. That shit looked fun.
7. Diggy (last week: 7)
Diggy won Dominique over Fred, then got picked for a date by Jami. He also created a card game called “Diggin’ Deep with Diggy,” the primary purpose of which seemed to be to kiss Dominique. Diggy’s having a good week.
6. Ben Z.’s Dog (last week: not ranked)
Ben Z., initially considered one of the most eligible bachelors in Paradise, left this week to pursue a relationship with his puppy, Zeus. Reportedly, Zeus responded to the good news by pissing all over the goddamn rug.
5. Wells (last week: 10)
In addition to aptly calling the twins “a national treasure” and basically calling Christsen “Scallop Fingers” to her face, Wells delivered these words of wisdom to Kristina: “Why are you fighting for a guy who’s not fighting for you?”
Wells has officially declared his candidacy for The Bachelor.
4. Christen, aka Scallop Fingers (last week: 20)
I know I’ve been hard on Scallop Fingers the last two weeks. But it’s hard to deny her Paradise bona fides. If Christen can get Tickle Monster, Blake and Jack Stone to fight over her when she is a) a virgin; and b) nicknamed Scallop Fingers, then just imagine what kind of psycho-sexual powers she would be capable of wielding were she even 40% more of a normal human being. Her make out/screen time ration is sky-high. She is losing, yes. But she is also winning. Which is a pretty apt description for what it’s like to be on this show.
3. Jasmine (last week: 18)
I have officially lost track of how many guys Jasmine has made out with. I’d say it’s anywhere between 3 and 6, but if you told me 10 I’d totally believe you. All of which is to say, Jasmine is winning.
2. Jack Stone (last week: 17)
The talk of the morning in Paradise, during last night’s episode, was that, according to Scallop Fingers, Jack Stone was a bad kisser. Interspersed between shots of Jack Stone exercising, the ladies bemoan his sorry plight. Perhaps, D-Lo goes so far to say, Jack Stone is still single because he doesn’t know how to kiss.
At this point, I am violently shaking my head, muttering “oh no oh no oh no.” This is a tough blow to receive if you’re Jack Stone, who just last week had Scallop Fingers whisked away on a romantic date by Tickle Monster. (Is this all beginning to sound a bit cartoonish? Perhaps. You put enough cheese on a beach in Mexico and it’s bound to melt.) But then something happens. Something crazy. Something glorious.
Jasmine, Raven and D-Lo devise a plan: Let’s kiss Jack Stone and see for ourselves how bad he is. If he’s truly as awful as Scallop Fingers says he is, we’ll help him improve. It’s totally chill and not weird at all, people do this all the time, right? right, they think. (At this point, I feel it necessary to interject and remind the readers at home that Scallop Fingers, aka Christen, is still a virgin, and is therefore about as qualified to judge someone’s kissing skills as a reality TV host is to handle the nuclear codes. OH SHIT.)
The ladies surround Jack by the kitchen table. First, Jasmine has a go. Then Raven. Jasmine is shocked to discover that, contrary to Scallop Finger-belief, Jack Stone is a good kisser. D-Lo has to see for herself, so she makes out with him in the pool, too. She too claims is shocked by his skills. If I had to guess, I’d estimate that at least four hundred thousand pornographic films begin with the very same premise, and at least two hundred thousand of those feature an adult film actor named “Jack.”
Jack Stone is an American hero.
It’s been a true underdog story for scallops this season.